Crush the Strawberries into a pre-sanitised fermenting bucket. Pour the cold water over the contents together with the rest of the ingredients and the whole rice (rinse first under a tap in a sieve). Stir thoroughly. Cover the bucket with a cloth and leave to ferment in a warm place for 5 days. Stir the contents of the bucket daily. Then strain into a demijohn (4½ litres) through a muslin or nylon straining bag. Press as much juice as possible and discard the pulp. It may be necessary to top up with cooled boiled water to 4½ litres. Fit a bung and airlock and leave in a warm place to continue to ferment out completely.
Fermentation should be complete in 2-4 weeks. It should then be checked with a hydrometer. The hydrometer will indicate the remaining sugar level and finishing levels are as follows:
|DRY = 0.990 – 0.996||MEDIUM = 0.996 – 1.009||SWEET = 1.009 – 1.018|
Finishing the wine
At the end of fermentation add 1 crushed Campden tablet and half a teaspoon of potassium sorbate per gallon. Leave in a warm place for 3 days to kill off the yeast. Then the wine should be left to clear in a cool place (15C) before siphoning from the sediment.
Some Country wines will not clear on their own and it is recommended to add finings. Winefine finings are very effective. When clear you should pass the wine through a Vinbrite filter to obtain a professional finish before bottling.
Bottling your wine
The wine should now be stored in bulk in a cool dark place to mature for at least 6 months. During this time any rough tastes will be smoothed out and the wine will improve in bouquet and flavour. Strawberry wine is a delicate blush Rose wine that is delicious chilled and served during a summer picnic or barbeque. The addition of a small amount of rice gives the wine extra body.